The 9/11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi has been framed by the Obama administration as a spontaneous attack based on an anti-Islam film. These were the talking points of both President Obama's press secretary James Carney and Dr.
Rice made the Sunday talk show circuits, selling this idea to Americans. Unfortunately the interim leader of Libya disagreed with the U.S. administration and called it a planned attack.
Based on the information available, it was clear from the outset that the attack in Benghazi pointed toward an organized, well-planned attack, using direct and indirect fire, including mortars, rocket-propelled guns and machine guns.
According to Rice, this was no surprise since those weapons were readily available in post-rebellion Libya.
Rice's talking points are being debunked as more information rolls in, and it seems now clear that the attack was not only planned but that there was intelligence available to advise of this attack.
For the first time yesterday, the administration acknowledged that the attack was a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate.
During a Senate hearing, Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said, "Yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy."
The White House now says it was self-evident that this was a planned attack. So why the charade for almost a week?
A Fox News report claims that the attack may have involved Sufyan Ben Qumu; in fact he may even have led the attack. Qumu was released from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay into the custody of Libya by the Bush administration in 2007 on a promise that he would be kept in custody in Libya. Obviously that promise was broken.
President Obama vowed to close Gitmo within one year shortly after he was inaugurated, however Gitmo is still operating.
Qumu was released by the Gadhafi regime in 2008 as part of a reconciliation effort with Islamists. He is linked to the 9/11 attacks and has ties to al-Qaida.
In an effort to get to the bottom of this and probable ties to al-Qaida, Sen. (R-Maine), a moderate Republican, has called for an independent review of the attack.
"A State Department Accountability Review Board to look into the Benghazi attack is not sufficient," Collins said, according to Fox News. "Given the loss of the lives of four Americans who were serving their country and the serious questions that have been raised about the security at our Consulate in Benghazi, it is imperative that a non-political, no-holds-barred examination be conducted."
The protests in Cairo and the attack on the consulate in Benghazi are just a couple of examples that put President Obama's foreign policy into question. Add to that the crises in Iran and Syria and the apparent dispute with Israel. On the surface the administration's foreign policy appears to be failing.
In Afghanistan, the senior ISAF leadership was forced to suspend operations with the Afghan Security Forces, a force that is to be trained in order to implement the NATO strategy of withdrawing troops and to hand over responsibility for security to Afghans, according to the Washington Post.
Iraq has apparently made agreements with Iran to traverse its airspace in order to deliver arms and munitions, including members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Two tailnumbers of 747s have been identified as being part of this mission. Of course, Iraq's government denies this.
Despite the claim of spontaneous protests in Egypt, it now seems it could be related to the release of the "Blind Sheik."
The New York Post reports that blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, is being considered for release. This claim is denied by administration officials both in the Department of Justice and the State Department.
The White House, State Department and Justice Department each issued statements denying any deal is in the works, but, “There’s no way to believe anything they say,” said , the former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Abdel-Rahman. “I believe there may already be a nod-and-wink agreement in place.”
Obama had and still has a comfortable lead when it comes to foreign policy and national security. The gap between the president andhas been closed though.
As the facts on the Middle East crisis and its ties to the policies of the Obama administration emerge, that gap could be closed. Are Obama's policies, starting with the Cairo speech, unraveling?
Building a clear case, with solutions, on foreign policy and the economy could be a game changer to an already tight election. There is no question that Romney has to define himself and his policies or the media and the Obama campaign will.